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How To Save The World And Get To Bed By 11:00

        posted by , June 03, 2013

What is it?

Work leveling is a time management strategy that seeks productivity by working at a constant, sustainable pace.

It's a way to do more with less time.

Definition: Work Leveling

Work leveling is working at a regular pace. It's a time management strategy that's thought to improve productivity.

So What?

Work leveling is inspired by production leveling techniques that were developed by manufactures such as Toyota to maximize production.

The idea is that by working a constant rate, you get more done. A production line isn't efficient when it's overtaxed one day and idle the next. Neither are people.

If you're regularly in a state of overwork, you can't do much to improve your efficiency. You might get more done by working at a sustainable pace. In other words, there was something to the old 9-to-5 work day.

Work Leveling vs. Resource Leveling

Work leveling is a personal time management technique. Resource leveling is a project management technique that seeks a level workload for a project team.

How To Level Your Work

The goal of work leveling is to find your optimal work schedule and then stick to it with conviction.

Maybe you work best 9-5 Monday to Friday. Maybe you can handle 12 hours a day. Maybe you peak at 4 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Experiment a little and find your optimal pace. Choose a pace that you can sustain for the long term. Think 20 years.

The next challenge is to develop strategies to level your work out. For example:

  • Manage Stakeholder Expectations
    Manage your boss and other stakeholders who make demands on your time. Negotiate for workloads and timelines that fit your work level.

  • Develop Realistic Estimates
    Bad task estimates are the primary reason that professionals work at an unsustainable pace.

  • Focus
    Remove distractions from your work routine. Work is an intense activity that requires your full focus. The idea is to give your all for a few hours a day and then walk away.

  • Priorities
    Set priorities and focus on critical work. One hour of your time should produce a great deal of value.

  • Quality Over Quantity
    Focus on doing a few things very well.

  • Time Box
    If your work isn't done at the end of your work day — walk away. Staying late one night can throw your work level off.

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